Michelle Kawka, photographed in Queens, NY. © Tony Gale
Michelle once said to me, “I always seem to attract attention when I travel abroad, I don’t know why.”
I should have told her, “Darling! The French aren’t the only ones who appreciate your appeal!”
Her high heels leave a clicking echo behind her as she enters an art gallery and people can’t help but stare at this American beauty with a dash of a European flare that was certainly acquired during her six months in Italy where she perfected her flawless Venetian accent over a glass of Chianti. Of course, the gallery I’m referring to is the one displaying her own photography in New York City (or was it Paris? I can’t keep track).
Michelle had her privileged future mapped out for her, having grown up with a summer residence in the Hamptons and obtained her bachelor’s degree from prestigious Weselyan University in Connecticut. This did not stop her from rolling up her sleeves in an attempt to pierce through the very closed knit circle of photography in the Manhattan. This attempt turned into success after 6 years of hard work built over a solid foundation of pure talent. I could only imagine her mother’s reaction when she came home with the news that her work was now being displayed in museums (and that she had a pair of angel wings tattooed on her back).
If you speak to Michelle during her well-attended photography exhibits, make sure to put down your coupe de champagne, and take a close look into her eyes, and tell her what you see. She’s quite used to it. Some call it sectoral heterochromia. However, most just say, “You have two different colour eyes! “ Maybe it’s a vestige of her former life as a mermaid, of which she is very fond. Michelle could even make an atheist believe in Karma.
As our friendship reached the 15 year mark from across the Atlantic ocean, I am proud have Michelle as my friend and look forward to another 15 years (at least!) of good times.
Nominated and described by Al Vareau